Lockout That Threatened to Cancel Entire MLB Season Ends
The MLB, the world’s strongest and most popular men’s baseball league, has ended its lockout initiated by the club owners. Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association (MLBPA) finally reached an agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) after more than 3 months of impasse and repeated deadlines for postponing the regular season.
So, how was an agreement ultimately reached on March 10, the 99th day since the lockout set off?
Lockout Came to End in Its 99th Day
The union voted 26-12 to adopt a new proposal (the new agreement only needed a simple majority of 20 votes to pass, but it’s worth noting that the 8 members of the executive subcommittee all voted no). On Thursday night (March 10), the owners ratified the new 5-year CBA with a 30-0 vote in favor. The off-season business of baseball (trades and free agency) is set to begin soon. In the coming days, players will report to spring training, and MLB teams will play a complete 162-game season in 2022. Opening Day is April 7.
On its 99th day, the lockout came to an end. When the previous CBA expired on December 2, the owners implemented the lockout, which was MLB’s first work stoppage since the 1994-95 players strike. The owners then waited more than 6 weeks to submit their initial proposal, despite the league characterizing it as a defensive measure aimed at speeding up negotiations. The talks ultimately heated up in Florida in the last week of February, when the two parties met on a daily basis. After hours of negotiations in New York this week, an agreement was struck on Thursday.
Most Noteworthy Aspects From Accepted Proposal
Here are some of the noteworthy aspects from the accepted proposal that have been reported:
● Competitive Balance Tax (CBT) threshold of $230 million in 2023, with a peak of $244 million in the CBA’s final year.
● The creation of a new CBT penalty tier that begins at $60 million over the threshold (the highest tier previously stood at $40 million over the threshold);
● Minimum salary: $700,000, with a maximum of $780,000 in the CBA’s final year.
● Bonus pool for pre-arb: $50 million;
● 12 teams in the postseason;
What Actually Caused Lockout?
When talks stagnated, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced the cancellation of the first two weeks of the 2022 regular season, but all games are now back on schedule. The games that were lost in the first week will reportedly be made up through off days and doubleheaders. Opening Day was initially set for March 31, and the games that were lost in the first week will allegedly be made up through off days and doubleheaders.
Throughout the process, the union wanted to raise the league minimum pay and the CBT thresholds; establish a centralized performance-based incentive pool for pre-arbitration players; and enact other anti-competitive measures, such as tanking. The owners, for their part, want a longer postseason, an international draft, and the right to change the rules, such as adding a pitch clock and wider bases, as well as limiting defensive posture.
This was the first time in league history that the regular season was jeopardized by a lockout (the 9th lockout in the MLB history). Anyhow, the fans and passionate bettors will finally have an opportunity to watch and bet on MLB at the top bookmakers for this competition this season.